It’s not uncommon for a major company to try and predict what products will be successful, with everyone from beverage companies to music executives going to great lengths to see if they can figure out what the public will like next. They rarely get results, and when they do, the success is often fleeting.
Being in business means gambling; you have to be willing to stick your neck out and try new things to see what works. And if you work hard enough, you may begin to understand what clients might enjoy.
You can also work another angle: putting yourself in the clients’ shoes. Especially in the case of product fulfillment, it’s possible to get an outsider’s perspective of your products and services and make changes to better deliver the right goods to clients. It’s very similar to the old Hollywood methodology of test screenings, where changes are made to the product afterwards based on audience reactions.
Of course, this can mean a lot of compromise on your part. However, don’t feel you’ve lost anything by testing the waters, as you only stand to improve on delivering quality services to clients, increasing your business’ success.
Feedback on the Feedback
Clients like when businesses show appreciation and interest by asking for input. Consumers are usually happy to provide it, but you have to give them the vehicle to do so.
Start with lettershop services designing surveys or comment cards that you can send out though your direct marketing mailings, product shipments, and other package send-outs. Clients can complete these forms and send them back with their input. Don’t neglect any of your clients, either; if you’re doing B2B direct marketing with larger clients, send them some comment cards, too, as they are just as important and can provide you with more feedback.
It’s questionable in terms of ethics, but you could also check up on other competitors in your field. So long as you only observe what others are doing and don’t copy them, you can gain a lot of insight into what clients like. Also, seeing how the competition operates might serve as a good influence for your own unique business practices.
You can also try cold calling, contacting clients by phone to acquire feedback. This has been a popular method in the past, but these days faces a lot of professional scrutiny; many see it as a now inefficient way of getting information and an overall nuisance to the public at large. You might have to sit down with your order fulfillment center to figure out if this is a viable method, or if you should use other options. That said, just having good customer service centers to take questions, comments, and complaints is often enough.
When all is said and done, it’s good to think in terms of the clients themselves. To sit and examine what you’d like as a client is key, and you can go a step further and test things out as well. Allowing comments on your web site or displaying other e-commerce fulfillment material, and free samples of potential new products are also good for getting feedback, as is adding premiums to mailings. So while it may be hard to know exactly what will have popular appeal, if you put the clients’ interests first, you can test the waters and lead your business towards success.
This article Getting the Right Client Perspective for Product Fulfillment is originally published at apsfulfillment